Sleaford

Cranwell man jailed for sexually abusing teenage girls from across the country

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A Cranwell man has been jailed for 16 years after committing numerous sexual offences against teenage girls from across the country.

Craig Lewis, 54, and of College Road, was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday, December 14, after being found guilty of child grooming, sexual assault and causing a child to watch a sex act.

The victims were girls aged between 13 and 14, and from Rotherham, Grimsby and Oxford.

An investigation was launched into Lewis in December 2016 after an anonymous referral made to the NSPCC was reported to police.

Officers charged Lewis with meeting a child following sexual grooming and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, after an investigation revealed he had used online social media apps to form a relationship with and arranged to meet one of the victims on a number of different occasions.

During these meetings, Lewis encourage the victim to take and share photos and videos of herself online.

Through this investigation and a review of his mobile phone activity, officers identified two further victims and with assistance from both Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire police Lewis was charged with the remaining offences.

Detective Constable Elizabeth Portman, of South Yorkshire Police, oversaw the investigation.

She said: “Lewis’ actions were absolutely despicable as he knew the ages of his victims and continued to commit the sexual abuse.

“I’m glad he has now been punished and I hope the victims are able to take some assurance in knowing he has been brought to justice.

“It has taken incredible courage from all of the victims to report the abuse and I would like to commend them for their bravery.

“Our commitment remains ensuring children are kept safe and we will always do our utmost to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”